Preparing for a forthcoming exhibition

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Preparing for a forthcoming exhibition

A month to go before a local gallery exhibition - thinking aloud, which paintings to choose?

I feel privileged to have a guest artist exhibition at a local gallery for the month of June so I have a month to get everything ready. The gallery is “Gallery in a Shed” near Buxton, and is adjacent to a large, popular, bookshop and cafe. Luckily, I have sufficient stock of paintings to meet the need for 9 framed pictures on the wall (+ 3 spares in case of sales!) and 20 unframed pictures, mounted, in poly sleeves, in a browser rack. I now face the question of choosing which pictures to include : which are the 12 best, for framing? Should they be a wide variety of landscape subjects? The gallery owner, Carole Knight does excellent moorland scenes, more abstract then mine, so should I cut down on this, one of my favourite subjects? Should I choose by quality alone, or try to match what I think Joe Public will buy? It would seem appropriate to include many local Peak District scenes, to appeal to visitors who have been walking or staying in the area, but I have taken part in local exhibitions where my Suffolk coastal scenes have sold, and local scenes haven’t! Also, those that I feel are the best from an artistic technique point of view may only appeal to fellow artists, not the buying public. I have overheard a viewer say of one of my landscapes “How much? For 3 trees in a field?” and then gone on to buy another artist’s painting of 3 elephants’ bottoms. I have to accept that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and that, while wild, remote landscape is all important to me, it leaves some people cold. So, that’s helped me decide – Joe Public is too fickle and unfathomable to second-guess, so the choices will be those paintings that satisfy me the most and make my heart sing. If one satisfies a gallery visitor enough to buy it, that will be a bonus.

Great idea, to choose the paintings that satisfy you the most, it's impossible to imagine what the public might prefer. Best of luck and hope you sell 1 or 2 if not more!

Sounds good to me David, and a month on show is excellent. I wish you luck, and you’ll have time to ring the changes if necessary.

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